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Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bounce Trio: Contrasts

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At the heart of things, the Bounce Trio's Contrasts is a set of good time organ jazz, coming out of the tradition of Jimmy Smith, Jack McDuff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, three organists who emerged in the 50s and 60s, riding a highly engaging urban soul jazz wave. But in a genre that seems more resistant to change than most, organist Matthieu Marthouret--leader of the Bounce Trio, based in France--has steered the group's sound into modern territory. Joined by ...

TALKING 2 MUSICIANS

with Barbara Dennerlein

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Music is wondrously implausible, an invisible art form that is arguably best appreciated with your eyes shut. Yet it is equally true that live music, like great sporting events, has the capacity to trigger powerful emotional responses, focus people on the present, and unite a disparate crowd around a shared experience happening on stage. Each approach has its own charm, and occasionally you can shut your eyes during a concert to have the best of both worlds. Showmanship ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Erica Bramham: Erica Bramham: Twelve Moons

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A song cycle that uses the months of the Czech/Slavic calendar as a compositional starting point is not the sort of subject matter we usually see from modern jazz singer-songwriters. Yet on this marvelous debut album Erica Bramham has used that unlikely theme as a starting point for her poetic lyrics, giving the collection a satisfying coherence. It doesn't hurt that the passing of the seasons is a classic metaphor for the themes of birth/death/renewal, used here in the context ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Francisco Mela & The Crash Trio: Fe

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Since departing Cuba to study at Berklee in 2000, drummer Francisco Mela has been on a meteoric trajectory throughout the jazz dominion. In 2005 he joined the Joe Lovano Quartet, and in 2009 the McCoy Tyner Trio, all the while releasing three critically acclaimed albums as leader. Fe is his first venture with The Crash Trio, a dynamic showcase of poly-rhythmic drumming and propulsive modernism. Fe translates into faith, and this is Mela's homage to his late parents, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cyrille & Bill McHenry: Proximity

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The story behind this duo setting by legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille and venerable tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry was initiated by Max Koslow who routinely attends New York City's fabled Village Vanguard venue on Thursday evenings. After hearing the twosome perform, he proposed they record a set in the studio for his nascent Brain Schism Productions. Indeed, the artists' synergy comes into full swing from the onset for a production that clocks in at 38-minutes. McHenry's full-bodied tenor sound ...

JAZZ RACONTEURS

David Weiss: Memories of Freddie Hubbard

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Noted trumpeter, composer, and New Jazz Composers Octet founder, David Weiss shares several stories about his experience with trumpet legend Freddie Hubbard. As told to David Kaufman. I met Freddie Hubbard soon after he damaged his lip. I guess what basically happened was he had a blister on his lip that popped and got infected. His doctor thought it might be cancer or something related so they did a biopsy. It came back negative and he thought he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia: Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987

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It's truly a shame that, all too often, artists with diverse careers become pigeon-holed, defined by the primary genre in which they first achieved notoriety. Take guitarist John McLaughlin, for instance. Ask most jazz fans about him and what will first come out of most of their mouths will include either the words “fusion," “jazz-rock" and/or Miles Davis, in any permutation/combination (not that there's anything wrong with that). Those a little further in the know might also be aware of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Seamus Blake / Chris Cheek: Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

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Friends and musical collaborators for more than two decades, New York tenor saxophonists Seamus Blake and Chris Cheek have been leaders, sidemen and big band soloist throughout their distinguished careers and seem to cherish their roles as co-leaders on joint projects such as their critically-acclaimed Reeds Ramble (Criss Cross Jazz, 2014). Let's Call the Whole Thing Off is their follow up album bringing together the same quintet they call Reeds Ramble which include pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Matt Penman and ...


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